Sunday, May 27, 2012

Maple-Roasted Banana Ice Cream (Dairy Free!)

I didn't realize how long it had been since I'd stopped eating dairy till I checked some of my older blog posts, and apparently it's been since the summer of 2010. Ice cream was one of my biggest losses. I love sorbets and I've tried soy and coconut milk ice creams, but they all have an icy quality instead of that nice thick creamy consistency. It wasn't till last month, on my trip to Vienna, that I had a vegan gelato that could have fooled anyone into thinking it had cream in it. 

Apparently the trick to getting "creamy" ice cream is the fat content. I know that sounds obvious, but take away the cream and what can you add? The secret is olive oil. The recipe I used asks for 2 Tbsp of light olive oil, so if you're worried about it flavoring your ice cream, don't be.

I found this excellent recipe on the blog Gluten Free Goddess. She adapted it from David Lebovitz's recipe from The Perfect Scoop.


6 ripe bananas
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons light olive oil (this adds fat lacking in most non-dairy milks)
2 tablespoons organic golden brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk, soy or nut milk
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum


Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Peel and slice the bananas, toss them into a baking pan. Pour the maple syrup and olive oil all over the bananas. Sprinkle on the brown sugar. Stir to coat.
Bake in the center of the oven till soft, stirring once during roasting. They should be ready in roughly 35 to 40 minutes.
Scoop the roasted bananas and syrup into a Vita-Mix, food processor, or blender. Add the non-dairy milk, xanthan gum, sea salt, vanilla, and rum.
Blend till smooth. Chill the mixture. This is important.

When the banana mixture is good and cold dump it into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions for churning ice cream. This is the ice cream maker I use.

Makes roughly 6 servings.

I added heath bar bits for a bit of crunch. My photo up top isn't the greatest example since I defrosted my ice cream a bit too much, so it was a bit melted. But trust me, it's delicious.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sugar Flower Workshop

Bought a Groupon for Sugar Flower Cake Shop's flower making class. It's located on 37th between 8th and 9th ave on the 9th floor in a nice brightly lit space. They have a variety of classes ranging from Parrot tulips, poppies and basket cakes, but I picked the Sugar Rose class. The classes sell out pretty quick and judging from my class size today can get pretty big, so sign up early if you're interested.

The flowers are made from gum paste. Apparently the actual process takes about a week, because after each layer of petals is added it needs to dry for at least a day. The goal was to make 3 full blooms and 3 buds, so after Step 1 and 3 they swapped our version out with pre-dried centers we could work with.

You start with a teardrop bud shape in the center, stuck onto a piece of hooked wire. Step1, you flatten the petal cut-outs by pinching so they are almost 3x their original size. You add the two petals horizontally onto the bud, in an interlocking C shape. Step 3 you add three, overlapping petals, making sure each new layer is slightly higher than the rest. Here's what they look like at this point:

The last 2 layers, you use a 5-petal shape, snip between the petals and press to widen the petals so they can overlap. Poke through the center and slide up to bottom of bud. Hanging it upside down while you work might be easier at this point.

And lastly we were given the option to paint them with luster dust, blue or pink. 

Not sure I'd have the patience to wait a week to make one on my own, but I definitely want to try the same technique with polymer clay.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Coin Purse

I haven't used a coin purse since I was a little kid. But I couldn't resist trying to make one, especially because I found this gumball-like purse clasp from SugarCarousel on Etsy. I originally tried a more complicated, pleated purse, that was puffier, but it was a bit too complicated for my beginner skills and I sadly failed all 3 attempts. Lining's are always the trickiest part for me, because I always end up sewing it wrong or getting confused as to which side should be facing out at certain points in the process. In the end, I pretty much followed these instructions from U-Handbag, with the only difference being my clasp was of the "sew-on" type, not just glue but it still worked. Fabric is from from Joann's. 

I also discovered this awesome website for DIY bags during my search.